I am so tempted to write the words “I told you so” over and over again up to the 500-word limit allowed for a commentary in this newspaper. It would be so easy to gloat about how liberals won and conservatives lost. It would make me giddy to point out how Arizona is so out-of-touch with the rest of the Left Coast.
I could go further and point out how the Republicans, right-winger columnists, and bloggers have done nothing for the country in last four years but obstruct all attempts to effect the kind of change that voters mandated in 2008. One could point out all the mean and nasty words used to describe those left of Rush Limbaugh. But, no, I won’t go there. Instead, I want to talk about what really happened in this last election and how all of us, together, can move forward into this new, brave world, or as the right would call...a European Socialist State.
Obama won because the truth is that he told us the truth for the past four years. He and we inherited a really bad situation when George W. jumped into his pickup and headed back to Texas back in ‘09. The stimulus package was absolutely necessary to jump start a struggling economy. It’s a fact that America is a really big country with a really complex economy that changes course like a cruise liner — very slowly. It has taken time to recover from eight years of the disastrous Bush error. Sorry Republicans, people aren’t as stupid as you would like to believe. They can see right through your lies. Speaking of lies. Mitt Romney almost became the first President who lied his way into the Oval Office by intentionally misrepresenting facts at every opportunity. At the end, he even tried becoming Obama — remember the third debate? Well, it didn’t work. At the end of the day, Mitt tried to justifying his loss on Hurricane Sandy. I guess God did have a plan.
Let’s talk about what messages were sent on Nov. 6:
• Americans want those making more than $200,000 a year to actually pay their fair share of income taxes. America’s dirty, little secret is that those who have their taxes withheld from their payroll checks are the primary funding source of government whereas the self-employed in this country do everything they possibly can to game the system in order to avoid paying any income tax at all. Frankly, it is my personal opinion that there should not be any tax on the formation of income but, rather, only a national value-added tax that is paid at point of purchase on all goods and services. That, my friends, is the true spirit of capitalism ... consumption.
• Americans want ObamaCare. We don’t want certain body parts uninsured due to “pre-existing conditions”. We don’t want our insurance company to have the unilateral right to cancel our policy in the event we have the audacity to actually use it. We don’t want our health insurance benefits to be capped during our lifetime.
• Americans want their federal government to protect them from terrorism. They approve of covert methods such as those used by the Navy Seals to take out Bin Ladin. However, they do not approve of going to war in the wrong place, for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time.
• American women don’t want Republicans invading their bodies with ultrasound to determine whether or not an abortion is warranted. Rape is not another form of procreation. It is not likened to a “shotgun wedding.” Women can’t control whether they conceive or not during a rape. Rape is a hate crime against its victims. American women want the right to choose.
• America has discovered that it is OK to be gay. Marriage is not limited to one man and one woman. Marriage is not for the explicit purpose of procreation.
• America is no longer a Christian nation. We are a nation of many different beliefs including non-belief.
• Diversity and tolerance are in. Old, white, Republican men are out.
• The “War on Drugs” is over. The people support government-controlled medical and recreational use.
Patrick Buchanan once referred to the “Peasants with Pitchforks” rushing the castle and taking back the government. He likened the peasants to the right wing. Alas his analogy came about but in this case the so-called peasants were actually the middle-class, women, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, the young, baby boomers. If the Republican Party cannot find a message to attract these demographics, they may well be doomed to be shelved in history and may never win another Presidential election in my lifetime. The peasants are motivated, committed, involved and community-based. They knock on doors.
As President Obama stood shaking from the cold at the Des Moines, Iowa, airport in the wee hours on Election Day — his last day as a candidate for political office — he related the story of how he walked in on a meeting during his 2008 run for the nomination and was upstaged by a supporter chanting, ”Fired Up...Ready to Go” over and over again. We peasants are both. Time to roll.
• Jon Beydler is the former mayor of Fountain Hills. He lives in south Chandler.